CIO Salaries Fall in 2011

We recently reported that salaries for IT workers rose nominally by about 2% in 2011. The same can not be said for senior IT executives.

Most senior and midlevel IT executive salaries declined in 2011, according to the CIO/IT Strategy Group poll of IT salary satisfaction. Salary averages remained flat compared to the 2010 survey data, but total compensation dropped significantly. 

This was most likely due to the fact that senior IT executives had reductions in benefits, stock options and bonuses. About 94% of all senior IT executives reported earning more than $90,000 in 2011. Their average base salary in 2011 was $144,000.

The survey was conducted by in November and gathered responses from more than 1,700 IT executives globally across 32 industries. 

The survey defined a "senior IT executive" as a respondent having a title of vice president, senior vice president, executive vice president, CIO, chief technology officer, or chief information security officer. It defined as "midlevel IT executives" those who identified themselves as being at the director level.


IT Salaries and Compensation in 2011

By far, most senior IT executives (74%) reported receiving $90,000 to $210,000 in compensation annually, including base salary, bonuses, stock incentives and the like. Only 14% of all senior IT executives reported receiving total compensation of less than $90.000 annually, and most of this latter group were employed by midmarket or smaller corporations. More than half (54%) of all senior IT executives reported earning $90,000 to $150,000 in total compensation.


2011 IT Executive Salaries

Across all sizes of organizations, total 2011 compensation for an average senior or midlevel IT executive was $157,482, a slight ($3,000) decline compared to last year. In enterprise organizations, senior and midlevel IT executives reported an average 11% higher compensation than their midmarket and small-business counterparts ($174,432 per year).


Average 2011 IT Salary By Position in the US

Senior IT executive (CIO/CTO/CISO, vice president of IT): $163,571

Consultant: $161,000

Midlevel IT executive, director level: $132,006

IT manager with one or more direct reports: $105,811

IT staff member: $91,512 


IT Worker Demand to Rise in 2012

If the domestic economy continues to improve, there will be some upward pressure on wages, however. IT organizations will need to take steps to retain key workers due to the rise in voluntary turnover rates. Voluntary turnover rate for IT organizations, after dropping to nearly 2% in 2010, is on track to return to normal levels in 2012. 

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